Panzanella

This is a traditional Tuscan bread and tomato salad devised to use up stale leftover bread. It started out as peasant food as it was cheap to make and also filling.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 loaf of ciabatta, Tuscan, or other Italian bread, preferably a day or two old
  • 1/3 cup of Olive oil
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 12 Peppadew or piquillo peppers
  • 50 gr. Spanish Chorizo or spicy Italian sausage, sliced and sauted
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 rounded tablespoon of capers
  • 1 small red onion, halved, and sliced as finely as possible
  • 1 to 2 roasted bell peppers, de-skinned and roughly chopped.
  • dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
YIELD: serves 4 for lunch or 6 for an appetizer
COURSE: Salads and Dressings
CUISINE: Italian
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. remove the crusts from the bread and cut or tear into 3/4 inch cubes. Toss the cubes in a bowl with the 1/3 cup of olive oil and a little salt. Put bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, till the cubes are golden.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the bread, anchovies, Peppadew peppers, chorizo, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, onion, and roasted peppers. Mix the dressing in a small bottle, and add to the bowl as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to plates or platter and garnish with basil leaves.